What is a garden, a habitat, a sphere, a ‘cave’? What spirits live there and how do they show themselves? Directly engaging with the Kunsthaus Graz, the outstanding international artist and essayist documentary filmmaker Hito Steyerl creates a many-layered, intertwined digital and analogue installation in the dark dome of Space01.
Hito Steyerl’s immersive installation at Kunsthaus Graz presents the interactive retelling of the work Cave, produced for the MMCA Seoul in 2022.
‘Animal Spirits is a term British economist John Maynard Keynes coined in 1936 to describe the influence of human emotions on markets. Fear and greed interact to create a sphere of irrationality. The pseudo-naturalist idea of the “survival of the fittest” controls human ideas of society and exchange.’ (Steyerl)
The starting point of the exhibition is Steyerl’s essayistic film Animal Spirits. It shows Nel, a member of the Spanish collective INLAND, shepherd, YouTuber and cheese maker. From here a multi-layered installation unfolds, its exchange of energy and data mutually pollinating and enlivening and reflecting on the power of the image itself. A black square on the roof of the Eiserne Haus thus refers to Malevich and the end of painting (and victory over the sun) announced in 1915. At the same time, it serves as a solar panel that supplies part of the installation’s energy consumption, including the plants in Space01. These grow under artificial UV light and are equipped with sensors that set in motion the walls around the main film, projected with cave paintings. An arc is thus traced to energy consumption through the global data transfer in (image) communication.
For Animal Spirits at Kunsthaus Graz, Hito Steyerl has added to the work, presenting a series of digital installations that can be entered virtually from all over the world.